Opportunities in the Indian Agricultural Sector for new generation of
Entrepreneurs, Leaders and Managers


By

Dr. Ashish Manohar Urkude
Professor
Alliance Business School
Bangalore-560 068
E-mail: dr.ashish.urkude@gmail.com / ashish.urkude@gmail.com / dr_ashish_urkude@yahoo.co.in

Mr. Shriram R. Thosar
Retired Deputy Director
Department of Agriculture Soil Testing and Soil Survey of India
Akola
 


1. There is dire need of 24 hours X 7 days a week X 365/ 366 days of the year dedicated Television (TV) and Radio Channel for Agriculture Sector with global, regional and local focus. In fact like Star Network, Zee Entertainment Network there must be an Agriculture Network, for the basic food-need providers of human beings. These Radio and TV channels must deal with local and national problems, procedures and systems, organisations and individuals. They must provide solutions. In fact, the TV Ratings must be based on how many solutions that particular channel have provided and how many numbers of Farmers are directly benefited, how many problematic areas are exposed and found out solutions and how many solutions are implemented. A totally result oriented Agro-TV-Network. This will be useful especially in the areas where there are lot of suicides in some parts of India. If those suicides addicted zone-farmers are provided moral and financial support and are highlighted through these TV and Radio Channels then there could be a permanent solution coming up. 

2. There is dire need of Educating Farmers in this dynamic era of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation to make each and every Indian farmer self reliant and confident who is totally independent from the state funds and subsidies. There could be exact time and road map to achieve target in 2020 A.D. and the results must be visible on cumulative basis and on periodic basis. Of course till then Government must provide support to needy farmers. Also, it is high time before any other Agro disaster occurs to take 100% Agrarian education seriously. All the farmers must be taught about every detail of the Financial and major Marketing Transactions. Especially Agrarians must be made quite alert and aware while doing these following transactions/ activities:

a. Literacy about banking and transactions. All the Agrarians must have their own banking account in any one of the nearest nationalised Bank. The minimum account balance could be Rs. 10/= for marginal farmers.

b. Keeping record of all the cash memo of every marketing activity.

c. About selection and checking of manufacturing and expiry date of the fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, seeds, equipments, packing material, and about their mode of use and reusability dates to avoid any suicidal buying behaviour.

d. Keeping update about government reports on subsidies, cess and concessions.

e. About patenting their unique mode of farming and agrarian ways.

f. About their equal rights in the domestic and international market, before, while and after every transaction.

g. About how to avail technical collaborations or consultations with agricultural institutes or organisations for mutual benefits.

h. About how to avoid malpractices, and also about dealing with fraud, misbehaviour and corrupt practises.

i. About how to avail crop, agricultural equipments and animal insurances.

j. About how to get bank loan and the mode of repayment and dealings after disasters.

k. About registration of land in the government records, updates of land reforms if any in that area.

l. About getting loan for irrigation, or any agrarian purpose.

m. About getting permission from the authority for different agrarian transactions in their village or town and which authority deals with which transactions. Agrarians are still confused on the purpose and authorities of different government agencies and organisations.

n. About knowing whether pattern in advance for the year or a month in advance.

o. About getting time table for the electricity shut-downs for setting up their own irrigation pattern and weekly time tables.

p. About provision of Indian Consumer Protection Act 1986. Agrarians must be made aware about how to register grievances, where to register, how much time it takes, and its real life benefits to Agrarians. 

q. About how to avail Right To Information Act (RTI) at proper place and time for proper purpose/s.

The reason to support this point on Education is the following survey put here in Table 1 and Table 2.

Table 1: Survey of Indian Farmers about early monetary input every year and awareness about farming pedagogies: (Random Sample Size: 1000 Farmers in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh)

S.N.

Non monetary inputs to Farmers

Know

Don't know

1

Proper planning time for major crops

11%

89%

2

Depth of sowing

15%

85%

3

Optimum plant stand

53%

47%

4

Inter-cropping (line distance between two crops which are sown simultaneously)

1%

99%

5

Legume in rotation (ground nut, tur, mug, udeed to avoid nutrient exploitation form particular depth)

1%

99%

6

Farm yard manual

80%

20%

7

Clean cultivation

53%

47%

8

Weed control at critical stage

80%

20%

9

Guidance from improved farmer

10%

90%

10

Crop wise water requirement for

10%

90%


Description of the Table 1: It is quite evident that Indians will have to carry a major awareness drive. Especially on the pedagogies of modern farming in the wake of new climatic and weather conditions and modified seeds and fertiliser variant in this globalise world.

Table 2: Survey of Awareness of Indian Farmers on low cost technologies:
(Random Sample Size: 1000 Farmers in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh)

S.N.

Basic knowledge on low-cost technology

Know

Know but can not implement

Don't know

1

Choice of variety

2%

0%

98%

2

Efficient fertiliser use e.g. phosphate fertilisers while sowing and nitrogenous be given in split doses

10%

8% of 10%

90%

3

Seed Treatment for disease resistance

90%

0%

10%

4

Bio-Fertiliser like rhizoidal dicotyledonous, azoidal for monocotyledons

1%

0%

99%

5

In situ-soil moisturize conservation, proper absorption of water ex. Triangular Hoeing notch channel closed at both end, water gets stored/ conserved.

80%

0%

20%

6

Bio-Pesticides, E.g. Neem seed extract, nucleo-poly hydrous virus to develop anti virus resistant

90%

0%

10%

7

Proper Crop Sequence. E.g. After mug wheat is sowed, after that sun flower is sowed.

90%

0%

10%

8

Water Management, availability and its use E.g. Sprinkle saves 50%, and drip saves 70% water than watering from river or well i.e. flood irrigation.

0%

99%

1%

9

Soil testing before sowing for efficient fertilisers use, E.g. Maharashtra is preparing a soil health card to know the fertility status of soil. It is going to test 444,000 soil samples from 44,000 villages in the year 2006-07.

0%

80%

20%

10

Easy Availability of Finances

22%

54%

24%

11

Fodder from farm waste 

100%

0%

0%

12

Energy from farm waste

100%

0%

0%


Interpretation of Table 2: Old way of farming is quite clear among the farmers. However, to get better yield/s per acre and compete with the global Agrarian community Indian farmers need to be educated at all above mentioned cheaper cost technologies.

3. Developing a chain of cold and hot storage-houses for different produce around India for Global as well as Domestic markets.

4. Marginal Farmers and remotely located farmers are too much dependant on their land and earning from it. There must be a mechanism of alternative earning sources. Due to financial situation their generations go on to become dependant on farming or labour activities. Hence, there must be mechanism to educate these people reaching at their locality. These are the days education should reach to real customers and customers should not run behind the education or commodity or finances.

5. Time is running down at the front of global warming and adding fuel is depleting jungles and adding explosives is depleting fuel sources. According to scientists, there will be no energy sources (trees, coal, petroleum, etc.) left on earth after almost a century. Farmers can generate solid ideas if they are proper trained and allowed to contribute. Please remember Gober Gas is the idea and a creation of farmers and not others.

6. The activities like Providing Urban facilities to Rural Areas (PURA) should be made self-sustaining which are facing danger of debacle after the retirement of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam from the Presidential position, who was the king-pin in initiating those activities.

7. There are various and every kind of surveys in India, like Soil Testing Survey, Water Table Survey and what not, but at the end of the day the needy farmers are not getting benefited. There is need of a mechanism in which grass-root level farmer is actually getting benefits from all these surveys.

8. Government of India floats lot of facilities, subsidies, and schemes for farmers but never reach 100% to grass rot level farmers due to improper communication. Hence, there must independent 10 years plan for Agriculture Sector, in fact for every sector there must be independent and have 5, 10, 25, years plan and yearly/ periodical truthful result oriented reviews. The reason is Agriculture and Rocket Science moves at different pace, however they are mutually dependant on each other as scientists need to eat and rockets need to move faster to reach human ideas to places. 

9. There is need for awareness among farmers in the changing whether patterns about following issues:

a. First and prime Paradigm shift is required among farmers and that is from 'Farming is Life' even after successive exploitation, to mantra of success 'Farming is Business to earn, learn, and to live a happy life'.

b. Soil Testing and Selection of crops for short term/ cash crop and long term duration/ regular crop.

c. Sowing and irrigation.

d. Re-sowing of crops after calamities.

e. Inter crop.

f. Cutting the crops,

g. Natural Flowering and faster and better fruit development.

h. Pesticide and disease control.

i. Home made bio fertilisers.

j. Quality Testing and Quality sustenance.

k. Storage methods, packaging and transport mechanism.

l. Marketing and selling at proper rates in the domestic or international market.

m. Asking help at the doorstep from NGO, Government, Microfinance institutions, Agricultural institutes and industries.

n. Atmosphere and whether reports and its impact and measures.

o. Management of pets, domestic animals, and their fodder and diseases and getting optimum benefits.

p. Minimum investment and maximum output pattern.

q. Farming requirements for genetically modified seeds and plants.

r. Fruits and fruit pulp industry.

s. Generating useful resources and earning money from farm wastes.

10. Water Table is getting down; Irrigation is not reaching to each an every corner and every place of the country, the classical projects like Ganga-Cauvery Canal are very well planned but are never actualised. Hence farmers are also trying to leave their profession. Adding woes is that young generation is not ready to enter into this hard working and (hardly working for marginal and poor farmers) Agro profession, with the major reason of not having proper water resources. In such a situation only option left is providing proper water and basic resources to food providers.

11. Agricultural land dispute settlement is very slow process in India. Few Special Economic Zones (SEZ) were planned on the rich cultivable lands. Whereas, SEZ should be put on barren lands or on non cultivable lands on seas, on ships, on submarines, below ground, below sea, but essentially owned by Government. Shenzen SEZ is on the government land in China. If at all the SEZ are developed neat cities on the cultivable lands, then there must be integrative bargaining for Farmers and SEZ developers to have a feel of Win-Win situation. Thus, it will help farmer to live, educate family and sustain their farming. This will benefit Government and all citizens of India. SEZ should be planned in such a way that they will have proximity to rural and urban human resources thus bridging the huge gap between rural India (Bharat) and modern urban India. Remember if agrarian becomes happy, India will be happy at the bottom of the pyramid and at the top of the pyramid as well.

Also, around the world Agriculture is the biggest and the only sustaining industry, as food is the basic need of human beings. However, we must mention here that it is becoming the most neglected field as well. Just Remember, in France Farmers were on the Paris roads, Russian Farmers were on the roads, USA farmers were on the roads, and alas Indian Farmers even have committed suicides for not getting their share even after so much hard work of 24 X 7 X 365/366. Agrarian crisis have become a humanitarian crisis as well.

Finally, there are very few leaders in the Agricultural and Farming field like Dr. Carver, Dr. Punjabrao Deshmukh, but gone are the days, when only leader used to pull benefits for his/ their followers. These are the days when every one should become democratically independent and strong, just to sustain human civilisation.

Please remember we have less time left on the time frame of energy stocks and if whole humanity does not grow together, synergistically, cohesively, then within few centuries all the efforts of advancement made in technology and other achievements of human being will go waste, if together we don't find out solution/s. We believe that next generation of energy and fuels will come from Agro Industries apart from Water, Air, and Nuclear fuels, hence taking care of Agrarians at grass root level as the customer of future energy and food power.

Hope next generation will capitalise these ideas and hence this pattern could be replicated in every corner of the world. Come on, within 100 years the energy sources and resources will be over, hence, unless everyone (especially the Agrarians) get their dues in this world, the very human civilisation is not going to sustain.

Dear Entrepreneurs, Leaders and New Generation Managers, Everyone knows that, Life is short let us give it for great, greater to the greatest cause. Developing and sustaining win-win business at all the levels of socio-economic pyramid, especially for farmers could be one of such cause to live on this earth.
 


Dr. Ashish Manohar Urkude
Professor
Alliance Business School
Bangalore-560 068
E-mail: dr.ashish.urkude@gmail.com / ashish.urkude@gmail.com / dr_ashish_urkude@yahoo.co.in

Mr. Shriram R. Thosar
Retired Deputy Director
Department of Agriculture Soil Testing and Soil Survey of India
Akola
 

Source: E-mail January 2, 2008

          

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